Smith & Nephew Centre

FABW funds state-of-the-art surgical training to help landmine victims

Eleven trauma surgeons from landmine affected countries will receive training next week in an innovative new surgical technique that significantly improves the lives of landmine victims.

Coming from Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico, Lebanon, and Sri Lanka, the surgeons will learn to perform ‘through-knee’ amputations, a technique British medics gained experience using while deployed in Afghanistan. The training will take place on Thursday 14 July in York.

Through-knee amputations result in a stronger musculoskeletal structure than traditional above-knee amputations, helping amputees to live more independently after surgery.

The course has been fully funded by Find A Better Way, including airfare and accommodation for the participating trauma surgeons. Our partners from Imperial College London, the Royal British Legion Centre for Blast Injury Studies (CBIS).

Speaking of the wider benefits of through-knee amputation, Find A Better Way CEO Lou McGrath said, ‘Landmines devastate families and communities, not just individuals. Survivors require care and attention from those around them, and the problems multiply when it is a parent who has been injured. Anything that can be done to return landmine survivors to a more normal life is not just for their own benefit, it’s a huge gain for their community.’

The course will be led by Professor Jon Clasper, Clinical Lead at CBIS. Jon has extensive personal experience of the medical treatment of blast injury victims, including expertise in limb salvage surgery. He has deployed twice to Afghanistan and once to Iraq.

Mr. Dafydd ‘Taff’ Edwards, a trauma surgeon in the Armed Forces and currently studying for a doctorate at CBIS, is the course organizer. Taff deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan four times he has extensive experience in the care of the injured soldier on the front line and at home.

Professor Anthony Bull, Director CBIS, said, ‘This training course is part of the ongoing aims of CBIS to improve the medical treatment of blast injured. It is a key part of the Centre’s long term strategy for stakeholder engagement.’